Ghosting. It's one of those slang, hip terms that get thrown around the Internet to describe cutting someone off from all forms of communication for whatever reason.
That reason never seems to be a good one, at least in my eyes.
So you meet someone and you click. Great! Cue the dating rules about how much time you should wait until calling/texting/messaging back and all that malarkey.
I say if you like someone, call them up and say so. Make plans. Spend time together. And if it all goes south, TELL THEM THAT.
There's a highly-cited New York Times article that attempts to ask people why they ghost them. After reading this article only one thing comes to mind:
Yes, I said it! Cowardice. A lack of courage to face danger, difficulty or opposition. Straight up cowardice. Ghosting is cowardice.
It's the easy way out. Don't fancy someone anymore? Instead of facing up to them and expressing how you feel, instead you run away and hide. Really?
What does that say about you if you can't put yourself in a potentially uncomfortable situation? Yes, telling someone you're no longer interested is definitely hard. But it's WAY better than leaving them hanging; wondering if you've been hit by a bus or abducted by extra-terrestrials.
Now you've got social media, messaging apps, walkie-talkie apps - you can even have a VOIP telephone number. There's a ton of ways to get in touch with someone.
All this bollocks about "oh, I'm not emotionally available to have this conversation" or "I didn't want to hurt their feelings" is just that: bollocks.
Ghosting is a conscious choice. Everything in this life is a series of choices. You choose to wake up and set about on your day. You choose what to eat, watch on Netflix; you choose who you spend your time with. It's all choices.
Not being emotionally available to tell someone that you're no longer interested is a cop-out. Choosing to disappear into oblivion says more about you than it does the other person.
We're all human beings on this earth who need connection with other human beings. So if it's not for you, then say so!
Ghosting doesn't just happen in personal relationships - it happens in the business world as well. Ever been to a job interview where you think you nailed it only to never hear from that company again?
Meet Jaina. She went on an interview with a well-known billion dollar cosmetics manufacturer. She says the interview was super-successful and was sure she'd get the job. She asked the recruiter flat out if she'd be told if she got the job or not and she was told yes, they'd let her know either way.
That was six months ago. Jaina hasn't heard boo from them at all. Now when she sees this particular brand, she runs the other way! Score one for negative brand association. This company has just lost a customer and countless more who've heard her story.
Don't you think a multinational brand would have the wherewithal to let a candidate know if they're successful or not? It's an email that says something along the lines of "Thank you for your interest but we're moving forward with someone else who matches our needs at this time".
It's not hard to send out these kinds of messages in the business world. We can colonize Mars but we can't tell a candidate that they're not a right fit for a job opening...? I'm channeling my inner Howard Beale right now - ghosting makes me "mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
Can't the same be said for relationships? How hard is it to say to someone, I had a fun time but I'm not feeling it? What's so pee-in-your-pants about that?
I'm teaching my toddler how to use his words. Sometimes he has these rage-against-the-machine moments where I calmly say to him, "Use your words." He's learning how to say "happy" and "sad". If my toddler can express his feelings, I'm sure you as a grown-ass adult can do the same. Stop hiding behind the "I'm busy" front. No one is THAT busy.
You are emotionally available to say what's on your mind. You've just made a choice not to be.
Let the other person know where they stand. If you think for one second that ghosting won't hurt their feelings, think again. It's way more hurtful and just plain insulting if that other party is left out to dry; without any closure.
To deliberately hurt/ another human being is, in fact, a conscious choice. Be a part of a new day where we can really communicate with one other on a deeper level.
Say what's on your mind. You've got more strength and courage than you think you do.